Welcome to Fountain Hills, a picturesque town located in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. Known for its impressive fountain, once the tallest in the world, Fountain Hills is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and modern amenities. Join us as we explore the many treasures of Fountain Hills and reveal why this enchanting destination should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Before the development of Fountain Hills, the area was home to the Yavapai people, and petroglyphs can be found near the Dixie Mine in the northwest corner of the town along the mountains. In the early 20th century, the area that became Fountain Hills and the McDowell Mountain Regional Park was part of the Pemberton Ranch, later renamed the P-Bar Ranch. Fountain Hills High School is built on the site of one of the P-Bar Ranch’s buildings, and a plaque stands in the parking lot to commemorate this. Fountain Hills was developed by C. V. Wood, president of McCulloch Oil, and was named after the towering man-made fountain in the center of town. The town was incorporated in 1989.
Fountain Hills is located on the eastern edge of the Phoenix urbanized area, 31 miles (50 km) northeast of downtown Phoenix. It sits on the east side of the south end of the McDowell Mountains and has a total area of 20.4 square miles (53 km2), of which 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.42%, are water. The elevation is 1,520 feet (460 m) at the fountain, 500 feet (150 m) higher than in Phoenix. The elevation reaches 3,190 feet (970 m) on the western border of the town, on a spur of the McDowell Mountains. To the east of the town is the Verde River, a tributary to the Salt River. Inside the town, there are many washes that run through Fountain Hills into the Verde River. Some of these washes include the Ashbrook, Balboa, Legend, and Colony Washes. During times of rain, the washes flood with water and can sometimes block roads with their water. Signs mark several of the intersections of washes and major streets in the town. To the southwest and northwest regions of Fountain Hills are the McDowell Mountains, a chain of extinct volcanic remnants. The highest mountains in the range are East End (4,067 ft (1,240 m)), McDowell Peak (4,034 ft (1,230 m)), and Thompson Peak (3,982 ft (1,214 m)), all in neighboring Scottsdale.
The area has a large amount of sunshine year-round due to its stable descending air and high pressure. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Fountain Hills has a hot desert climate, abbreviated Bwh on climate maps.
As of the census of 2020, there were 23,820 people in 11,918 households in the town. The population density was 1,113.8 inhabitants per square mile (430.0/km2). The ethnic makeup of the town was 94.1% White, 1.0% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 1.1% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race make up 4.1% of the population. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.56. In the town, the population was spread out, with 14.4% under the age of 18, 85.6% 18 years and over, and 27.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 53.9 years. According to the 2020 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in Fountain Hills for the period 2016-2020 was $85,200. The per capita income for the town was $59,791. About 3.3% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.5% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and Culture:
Fountain Hills has the world’s fourth-tallest fountain, and the second tallest in the United States. It was built in 1970 in Zürich, Switzerland, by Robert P. McCulloch, the year before the reconstruction of the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, another of McCulloch’s projects. The fountain sprays water for about 15 minutes every hour on the hour between 9 am and 9 pm. The plume rises from a concrete water-lily sculpture in the center of a large man-made lake. The fountain, driven by three 600 horsepower (450 kW) turbine pumps, sprays water at a rate of 7,000 US gallons (26,000 l; 5,800 imp gal) per minute through an 18-inch (460 mm) nozzle. With all three pumps under ideal conditions, the fountain reaches 560 feet (170 m) in height, though in normal operation only two of the pumps are used, with a fountain height of around 300 feet (91 m). When built, it was the world’s tallest fountain, a record it held for over a decade. The Town of Fountain Hills has partnered with EarthCam to bring live streaming views of its world-famous fountain. The live stream camera can be accessed on the Experience Fountain Hills website. To help celebrate the fountain’s 50th year, the town installed a new LED lighting system with four lights mounted directly under the fountain